In March of 2020, everything changed. COVID-19 took hold, the world essentially closed, and everybody's focus — and perspective — shifted. All of a sudden, health, wellness, fitness, and nutrition took on greater importance than ever. Everybody was asking the same questions: How do you boost your immunity? How do you reduce stress? How do you motivate yourself? How do you stay strong and focused at home?
Luckily, we had been answering these questions for years, so we were ready. Led by our fearless CEO Joe De Sena, we were built to overcome obstacles, and there was no greater obstacle than this.
What we were not prepared for, of course, were the devastating effects that COVID had on our company. Our lifeblood is our races, but we had no choice but to cancel or postpone the majority of our schedule and make many more tremendously difficult decisions.
Without races, and with the world reeling, we made a concerted effort to give our community what we felt it needed during this time: motivation, inspiration, and educational content to help people stay sane and strong. Practically overnight, we pivoted and became a 24-7 content machine, delivering workouts and training tips from expert coaches; nutritional advice from registered dietitians; and life-changing hacks from brilliant entrepreneurs and exceptionally high achievers.
What's in the Tough Toolkit?
In the months without live events, we created new platforms to help you optimize your Spartan experience, and return to the course — and the world — stronger than ever. The Spartan Fit app was created to keep Spartans in peak shape during the layoff and get you race ready, with carefully designed obstacle-driven exercises developed by some of the best trainers on Earth. We introduced Spartan Accounts, which gives racers the opportunity to challenge friends (and yourself), comprehensively track your results, and unlock exclusive content to gain an edge over the competition.
Most recently we launched Spartan+, the full VIP experience for Spartans. This tool is loaded with exclusive perks, can't-miss discounts, race-day benefits, advanced race analysis (coming soon!), HD photos, and so much more. The ultimate goal: Make you unbreakable, day in and day out.
How It Can Fuel You Forward
When we mapped out what this tough toolkit would look like, the initial goal was to curate practical, valuable resources that would keep you on track during a year of quarantining, lockdowns, and — dare we say — sitting on the couch. But now, a year later, things are finally trending in the right direction. Races are back, travel is opening up, and vaccines are becoming more and more readily available. As life returns to normal, the toolkit that you used to get through a year of COVID can be applied to your everyday race preparation and usual training routine. If you utilize it, the sky is truly the limit.
Joe recently wrote that Spartans shouldn't merely be content with returning to the pre-COVID normal. On the contrary, we have an opportunity — and also an obligation to ourselves — to be better than before, to be stronger, more capable, more successful, more passionate. Now is not the time to forget about the tough toolkit. Instead, keep it in your arsenal. Continue to train with world-class coaches, challenge yourself and others to really find out what you're capable of, and analyze your past results to reach your peak performance.
Everybody else is slowly easing back into the world. But Spartans never took their foot off the gas, never relented, never took a day off. We trained throughout, both our minds and bodies. And now, we're in a position to be more unbreakable than ever. Look out.
Looking ahead, 2021 is primed to be our most epic year yet. There is so much to look forward to. Racing returned with a bang in Jacksonville in February, and the season is now well underway. (Races are selling out fast, so make sure to check the schedule and pick your date before it's too late.) We're returning to Sparta, Greece for the Trifecta World Championship; are taking the Ultra World Championship to an incredible new location; and are hosting the Spartan World Championship in none other than Abu Dhabi. Plus, there are more Trifecta weekends than ever before, which means added opportunity to capture that coveted wedge.
We've also ramped up our non-OCR events. Trail runners can run across the Golden Gate Bridge at sunrise, cyclists can ride from one Costa Rican coast to the other, and functional fitness competitors can test themselves in the DEKA Arena.
We're back, and primed to be bigger and better than ever.